tv Lockup New Mexico MSNBC February 4, 2012 5:00pm-6:00pm PST
the race for the republican nomination heads to the american west where the front-runner decided to accept a photo opp with a man that likes to fire people in primetime. >> there are some things you can't imagine happening in your life. this is one of them. >> but this deal with donald trump. how it will affect the foreclosure rates. >> and can newt gingrich have enough pep to raise march madness in the southern states? >> some people have this natural
attention gathering. tonight, what happened in vegas. live coverage of the vegas caucus continues live now. good evening. i'm chris matthews. the final caucus in nevada will close its doors. that's the earliest we'll be able to characterize the race. in this hour, we'll start to see actual returns from nevada and hear from the candidates themselves, including ron paul. plus, entrance polling coming up soon. we begin with our political director chuck todd who will be with us all night.
chuck, pleasure to work with you. how concerned are conservative voters? >> don't forget, we're talking maybe 10% of the actual republican electorate. two counties you're going to hear a lot about because it makes up 75% of the total vote and i'm showing them to you now. clark county, home of las vegas, washoe county, home of reno, if you look here on my map it's another 25% a. very rural area. this could be where second place gets decided between ron paul and newt gingrich. being organized here is a difference between a percentage point and two. let's talk about the real reason that the republican party chose to have nevada early. they want -- it's an important presidential races. nevada's gotten right -- you look at obama and bush. obama won washoe county. bush won it in '04. of course, the other important part has to do with trying to get your messaging right with hispanic voters. look what obama did to mccain
among hispanics. 78%. he won the overall state with 55% of the vote. 62% of his entire margin of victory was hispanics alone. there's not many hispanics participating in these caucuses but they are out there, chris, to try to get better with nevada. their march is a narrower path. >> it seems to me, 2010, when harry reid won the election, sharron angle basically decided she was going to win with anglos. she wasn't going to get any hispanic votes. >> and you can't afford to do it. about the same in 2010. if they up another point or
percentage point or two, there's also a higher than you might expect african-american population. here you have 25% of the vote in nevada is not white. if that number creeps up to 26, 27%, which it's likely to do in november this year and you have obama winning by the margins that he simply won by in '08, it makes nevada a very hard slog for the republicans. they have got to fix their hispanic messaging. brian sandoval, from the west, a former squa former judge, forget about marc can rubio. >> chuck, we'll be with you all tonight. it's going to be a great night. msnbc has had campaign enbeds.
this is the romney imbed. tell me something i don't know, of course. imagine the white house is watching right now. we assume they are. the top political people in the obama campaign are scouting in nevada. they are doing their job. what do you know they don't know about mitt romney's campaign and what you're learning out there? >> reporter: we have a bit of a musical interlude going on. >> we can hear. >> reporter: i think what the white house doesn't know is one half optimistic and one half incredibly cautious. i don't think its hallmark has been a wealth of optimism. they've sort of proceeded with
caution. but that said, it's very cool, calm, professional. if you look at event that i went through yesterday at an air field, everything happened like clock work. planked by the former governor of utah. compare that to a gingrich event in reno. 300 people in overflow outside the hot parking lot, you didn't have the sense that this was a tremendously well-organized event. >> what do they say inside the campaign about using donald trump? did they have a choice? some say romney, if you got me, you only have me for a day. you better move. do we know how that worked out, how he got that endorsement this week? >> unclear, chris. unclear. my colleague has been reporting on this. he reported that this was one of the most mysterious romney events that he had been to. there was very little lead on
this. very little indication of what the event actually was. as you recall, there was some speculation, a report by a local station in reno that trump would endorse -- that trump was going to endorse gingrich, which was wrong. >> yeah. >> but we had the sense that this campaign was sort of handling it as well as they could, as sort of as politely as they could. i didn't personally have the sense that it was something that they wanted to run with for days after the race ended. >> great reporting from the mitt romney camp. same question to you. how did that story emerge from your camp this week, the donald, as he likes to be called, was going to nominate your guy, endorse your guy? >> well, there was a lot of confusion. we were on a plane and had no idea. none of the gingrich camp was speaking directly to us but a
lot of the outlets got some type of comments that donald was going to be endorsing newt gingrich. that's friendly to mitt romney. they have spun it in a way that is going to benefit newt gingrich, they hope. but we really had no idea until the donald started doing the press topics that week in vegas alex, where is newt gingrich going to be? when do you think we'll get him? >> well, he's here in vegas. it's a little unusual. he's doing a small press conference. that's pretty much shows us that he really is looking past nevada on to super tuesday which is the next place where he's going to be able to probably pick up some more delegates. he's going to ohio this week where they start early vote
beining. he's looking ahead. >> i'm hoping to get newt gingrich. whenever you think of newt gingrich, he's the best television. it must be fun covering him. thank you, alex moe. next let's go to anthony t. years from now people are going to say, what was ron paul like because what a phenomenon this campaign has been. what does he look like tonight? >> right, chris. he told me that he's feeling confident about nevada. his senior adviser showed me confident numbers. the campaign hopes to double that number through the previous states where ron paul has doubled and quadrupled his numbers. they hope to build on this momentum. i'm here in minnesota.
this hall behind me was packed. over 1,000 people here and also standing room only. >> you know, it may be, because look at these cross-references. you've got a state, nevada right now, which is extremely concerned. very pro tea party and very conservative but not evangelical. in other words, not focused on the cultural issues. in other words, very much libertarian, i think, right? and good for you guys, for the guy covering. >> reporter: libertarian, that's right. they believe in personal freedom, what mr. paul has said. at one stop i was at yesterday, many supporters were openly carrying firearms. they are a strong believer in the second amendment. ron paul's campaign was okay with that. they took pictures with them. it's a very libertarian-leaning state and they believe in the personal freedom and liberty that ron paul talks about. chris? >> did you ask a man who brought
a gun to the political rally what use they may have for it at a political rally? >> i'll be speaking to him in about 15 minutes and we'll be seeing him soon. >> okay. have fun interviewing him tonight. anthony terrell interviewing ron paul at t. in colorado tonight, is santorum pushing this issue with the catholic church where they are being forced to distribute birth devices, birth control, whatever, pills. is that an issue he's raised a lot as a catholic or not? >> chris, he has brought that up. he's worked that into his stump speech as another result of
overreaching government, an example of how obama is trying to get people addicted to big government so they can't wean themselves off it and the catholic church a controversy, obviously that sits in with -- his strong stance on anti-abortion rights and he's really found a way to work it into his stump speech, especially for the christian voters who it resonates so well with. >> does newt gingrich have to fail for rick santorum to rise? is this a zero sum game between those two challengers to mitt romney? is that the way they see it. >> reporter: yeah, if you listen to how rick santorum is portraying this race, he's saying, listen, if newt gingrich drops out of this race, those voters go to me. but if i drop out of the race, those voters get spread among ron paul and romney. he's trying to draw a distinct line that if gingrich drops out
he gets the votes in which case he can make the real case that he is the only conservative in the race and, therefore, has the best head to head matchup against obama. it's a tough sell especially when you look at the past couple primaries where he's fallen so far behind gingrich and doesn't have the money that those guys have. he's trying to logically get that message across but it's something that he's trying to make when addressing voters. >> andrew raf officer tea, thank you. i want to go back to chuck todd. an interesting thing about santorum, anybody who thinks that he's dead in this race, he's within six points in the latest matchup in ohio with the president. he's got strength that i didn't know about. >> he could have strength but he's got to win something here. watch colorado. colorado, this is the home of james dobson, focus on the family founder. huge religious conservative base in the colorado springs area
where romney was today. but in that colorado springs area, santorum, if he pulls -- he needs to sort of surprise somewhere. colorado is ready made for him. i don't know if he has the organization to do. we'll see. they are trying to make this play in missouri with this beauty contest because gingrich chose not to be on a ballot. i think it's tough to make a established when there are no delegates involved. by the way, as folks are going to see results come in, the big county that's not going to report until late, until 10:00 eastern time, is going to be clark county. clark is romney's strength. so if you see him under 50, that wouldn't be a surprise throughout all of the rest of nevada. it's when clark comes in that would give him the huge spike. >> so you expect him to do at least half of the vote there? >> at least half the vote there. >> it's interesting, because when you're in colorado, just in terms of atmospheric, it seems so right-wing christian conservative. it's much more than even salt
lake city where you don't feel the lds presence so strongly as you feel the strong right wing christian presence. >> think about some of the old bill armstrong. remember some of these republican senators that got elected out there. very conservative guys. they ended up narrowly winning general elections. colorado very much still a swing state. a large independent vote. but the republican party there is very conservative. so, again, if santorum is going to try to get back into relevancy, i think colorado is made for him. if he doesn't pull it off there, i don't see where he comes, where he doesn't have the field organization to pick and choose somewhere else and then i think he runs out of time. gingrich thinks at this point that he is trying to gloss over the tuesday caucuses. >> interesting. we'll watch them both, guys. chuck todd, thank you. we'll be back with you later. coming up here, more reporting from the ground in
welcome back to msnbc's coverage of the nevada caucus tonight. we have a first look at the entrance polls. that's what we call it on a caucus night. let's go to tamron hall with some numbers. >> reporter: chris, we have two groups of people that we're watching for tonight. a greater share of the caucusgoers are tea party supporters than we have seen this year. look at this number. 74% of today's caucusgoers say they support the tea parties.
that compares to two-thirds of voters in the florida and south carolina primaries and in the iowa caucuses. of course, nevada is the first state in this year's republican contest. mitt romney is mormon. an interesting thing we want to highlight. more mormons than nonmormons will emphasize the importance of moral character. 32% for mormons and 15% for nonmormons. >> thanks, tamron. anthony terrell is in minnesota joined by ron paul. >> chris, i'm joined by dr. ron paul. dr. paul, early numbers coming
in expected to get 25%. four years ago you got 14%. how is the increase going? >> i think it's doing well and hopefully we get a little bit more than the 25 t remains to be seen. but i think it reflects the momentum of the freedom movement, especially in the last four years. it's certainly built -- since the economic crisis has hit and people are getting tired of the wars. putting people together that don't like war, they are interested in the monetary season and know that debt is a big problem and i'm offering the only cuts in the campaign. we're galvanizing people and offering a real solution to our problems. >> you mentioned momentum. some of your rivals are in other states. you visited states like maine that the other ones have largely ignored. how are you going to bring this momentum and can you explain about your delegate count and how you plan on building those up?
>> of course, it's early to give the numbers but we'll know a lot more tonight and also on tuesday and it's going to be rapidly changing on this. we have chosen to go to the kaukds state because if somebody is energized like our supporters are and that it costs a little less money, you just have to motivate people. it's very open. that's what maine is like and i think we're going to do well in maine and probably most likely come in second in nevada and we feel real good about what is going up here in minnesota. so i think so far it looks like our approach is working in contrast to maybe spending $30 million in florida and win or take all. so we're just trying to be frugal and wise in seeking what we're after. we're delegates. >> speaking of the money, you haven't aggressively gone after your gop rival mitt romney. are we seeing a potential ticket on the republican side?
>> well, i doubt if we're likely to have that happen. but at least he's a gentleman. we talk to each other and yet we disagree on so many issues. we disagree on foreign policy. i don't think he's interested in curtailing the fed. he's a gentleman and i've talked to him and i think our staff has talked to each other and have tried to work out problems and doing what we can to run an honest election. we do try to cooperate with him and i don't see anything wrong with that. >> final question, you're going back to texas before heading to minnesota. the super bowl is on tv tomorrow. what do you plan on doing tomorrow? >> tomorrow is sunday and i like to be home on sundays and i like to do less campaigning although i think i have an interview early in the morning. but i will be in and out of the house. i relax by catching up on my exercise and riding my bike. on occasion i'll walk and check where the kids will be around
watching television, who's winning? who is the under dog. they tell me who the under dog is and i usually cheer for the underdog. >> thank you, dr. paul. we'll see what happens here in nevada and here in minnesota and going forward. chris? >> thanks, anthony and thank you dr. paul for that interview. i share that one thing with dr. paul. i like to root for the underdog. msnbc can now report -- here it is, the big story, mitt romney is holding a commanding lead so far. nbc news will not protect an official winner until the caucus is closed at 10:00 p.m. eastern. now an msnbc political analyst, steve schmidt, you are a great asset to this team covering this campaign and sometimes you're surrounded by people with a different view but i've got to tell you, it's great having you
on tonight. if you were out there scouting, what's going on in nevada, what's going on perhaps next week in colorado, the way this thing is going, are we learning anything about the strengths and weaknesses of mr. romney? >> well, it's an interesting week, chris, because mitt romney is going to finish with another win in an important swing state in the fall so it finishes on a good note from a win perspective but it wasn't a good week in terms of a political perspective in terms of a general election. began with a major gaffe. i don't think the trump endorsement does a lot for him down the road. it will probably come back and cause some problems. but all of these states out in the west where you have a rising hispanic vote share and a declining vote share over the last ten years are going to be important states in the general election. >> let me ask you about the economics out there. there's so much talk out there about class and money and we're part of it on msnbc, of course. i think it's going to affect
them. 70%, according to the entrance poll, make above the average income. that tells the other people, and they exist out there, are voting the democratic side. it looks like in that state at least, the economic divide between the two parties is stark. >> i think it probably is a stark divide. but, chris, when you look at people who turned out for the caucus today on a saturday, i think not only is it a small slice of the electorate, it's a small slice of the republican electorate as well. i wouldn't read into the sample. >> why are the richer people showing up on a saturday? i'm just asking. do they have more free time? >> good question, chris. i don't know. but i think that you saw -- today you saw the high propensity republican voters,
clearly the ones that turned out. most of the vote is coming from washoe county and clark county. but there's a lot of economic distress, a lot of homeowners with mortgages underwater. the number one for close sur sta closure state and a state with a lot of problems. >> we have to wait until 10:00 for the polls to close so according to the entrance poll they decided last year how they were going to vote. they decided before january how to vote. my hunch is a lot of them were lds people. because if you look at the last time we had caucuses out there, they voted like 95 or 98% for mitt romney again. this lds issue is a stable factor and of the voters in the caucuses today, self-identify.
but have we seen people more or less likely comfortable with mormon candidates? >> well, that was clearly a state where mitt romney -- i suspect it did not help him. this is the first state in the early contest where his faith is an asset. and it would be an asset to him in arizona, colorado, an asset throughout the west. not just in the primaries but the general election. huge mormon population in the state of nevada. the people of the lds faith have played a huge role so where it becomes a big plus for him, when you luke ahead to a general election, all of these states, nevada, colorado, new mexico, as chuck todd pointed out earlier, will be very, very important swing states.
these are states where republicans have to do well to put together that formula to get to 270 electorals. >> chuck, can you -- >> steve, i just want to dig into that a little bit. it does seem that it's an increasing share not just in those three states but we could bring up north carolina, georgia, where the population is growing, arizona. i know the obama campaign is doing some testing to put it in play but what was newt gingrich's message this week and what should it be this month if he's going to try to make super tuesday a reality? >> it's unclear to me what his message was. as i said last week as we finished up the florida primary, i thought the speech he gave after it, at a time i thought it was off the wall. that he had just been defeated by a significant margin. he's talking about the executive orders, between breakfast and the inauguration and what he's going to do before the newt gingrich running out of time to
make a clear choice in this race, to make the case, to lay out a rationale, to prosecute mitt romney, to make the case like he should be the republican nominee. we don't have a lot of debates in the month of february. a couple of states. we're going to get to the month of february where we have a 2 1/2 week gap before you go into with no contests into super tuesday. so i think newt gingrich is starting to run out of time. >> steve, thanks for that. by the way, did mccain like your sense of humor? any way, thank you, steve schmidt. coming up, we're going to talk to supporters about mitt romney and newt gingrich. you're watching hardball. msnbc's live coverage of the nevada caucuses.
we're going to talk to the surrogates now for the romney campaign and gingrich campaign. congressman heck, how is your week going? let's talk about tonight. r for your candidate mr. romney? >> well, these are going exceedingly well in nevada. we expect the governor to do better than he did in 2008 and look forward to having him named the victor later this evening. >> i didn't plan this congressman. the handshake with the donald,
is that something that helps win a general election or do you think it may be no loss, does no harm, like chicken soup? an endorsement from donald trump? >> i don't think it's going to make any difference. i think the governor has stated he's happy to endorse people across the country. donald is a successful business person as is the governor. >> but would you think as being a politician yourself that a small dip to double down when you don't focus your campaign on the very poor, next thing you show up with a guy that fires people on primetime, in terms of the symbolism, do you think it was a helpful thing? >> i don't think it makes a difference really. again, it's another endorsement in a long list of endorsements that the governor has racked up across business people, grass roots, elected officials, and it's another person as we move forward to november. >> let's talk about how he's developed as a candidate in the
last two weeks, mr. heck. he's been much tougher and aggressive and negative. he's justified it because he says he's taking hits from gingrich. this has become a bear knuckle campaign. are you surprised that romney has it in him? because it looks to me like he's warming up for the general? >> not at all. i think he's a very tough campaigner. you heard ron paul say that he is a gentleman. and he will remain a gentleman throughout the race. but when he's attacked, he will respond. newt gingrich brought it upon himself with the attacks that he rendered on governor romney and i know that governor romney will come out swinging when necessary. >> thank you, u.s. congressman joe heck of nevada. thank you for joining us on behalf of governor romney. we're going to go back to las vegas and talk to sue lauden who supports newt gingrich. you're watching the nevada caucuses live.
you're watching the returns coming in. welcome back to msnbc's continuing coverage of the nevada caucuses. sue is joining us from las vegas and has supported newt gingrich during this campaign. sue, we just had anthony terrell. what's his name? anthony terrell who is the imbed for dr. paul. is this battle for second place in your state critical? >> well, it's important, of course, to come in second in our state. we always knew it would be an up
hill battle because the paul campaign has been going on here in nevada for five years. they were very well organized. we came in as a grassroots group and tried to do our best to get as many delegates as possible. >> you must know, sue, that here in the media, and i speak for the media generally, right, left, and center, newt gingrich is the most lively candidate we've come across in years, perhaps more so than president obama in terms of ideas and in terms of electricity as a candidate. sometimes he says things that make people hold their mouth in a gasp almost. other things he says are brilliant. what does this have to do with february keeping himself alive in the media, getting free air time, no debates except for one. how does he stay alive and do newt stuff between now and march when he expects to do well in the south? >> well, he has to look forward to march. when you look at march, what's coming down the pike there is
you have georgia, alabama, you have tennessee, you have oklahoma, you have texas with a lot of delegates coming out of texas. of course, governor perry has already endorsed the speaker. so there is a lot of good news to look forward to. >> so what does he do to keep the pregame going? i know what you just said. you gave a list of where you expect him to do well. but this is a problem that now secretary of state hillary clinton goes through a long expensive -- maybe in this case it is expected. how does he get on television? >> well, you need to put him on, chris. >> okay. fair enough. i don't mind making a deal as long as it's on tv, we can make it right now. what is the newt difference between him and romney? why are you sticking with him? he's the underdog now. sue lowden, why are you sticking with what you know to be an underdog situation in your home state? >> well, i've known the speaker
for many, many years and i'm a very loyal person. i believe that he wants to be the president of the united states and he still has a very good chance to be the president. i think he would be a terrific president and i've been with him for many, many years. i'm not quitting now. >> it's great to see you on tonight. sue lowden, thanks. john rahlston, host of knvt, it's great to have you on, sir. you're the expert. tell us what you're learning tonight in the returns, what you've been able to look at. >> well, chris, the returns that the republican party have put out tell us nothing. they just have some rural nevada results where romney has about 38% now. it's a very small person. but romney is going to win huge. it might be two, two and a half, maybe even close to 3-1.
the question is whether he can get above 55%. a real question is now as you mention with sue lowden, a big rural county which is ron paul country came in big for paul and some other returns i've seen. it's looking like newt could actually finish in third no matter what kind of spin sue lowden puts on that, that is devastating for him, chris. >> for most people, they go to nevada, las vegas to have a good time and clean fun. some people have another kind of fun. of course, reno is a country that has a great reputation and cowboy sort of town. but it does seem to be a libertarian attitude, not culturally religious part of the world. is that the case? >> yes, it's a very different state. in fact, it's three states,
chris. it's a very urban state. it's a real libertarian strain out there in rural nevada and that's where ron paul does better. but you also have the large mormon population, right? it's a strange dichotomy there and they are very socially conservative. the exit polls that i've seen show about 26% of the electorate in this caucuses from the mormon church. romney is getting 95% of that vote. that's not why he's winning so big. that's part of it. he's spent the money here. he's got the organization. nobody has ever really had a chance, really. but paul embarrassing gingrich, if he finishes in second. >> jon, this is chuck. four years ago harry reid pushed nevada to be an early state and the democratic party seemed to really use it as a party-building mechanism the the republicans did it four years ago. did they use this event to
actually build their organization up as effectively as harry reid did it four years ago? >> you know, if imitation is the sincerest form of flat ree, you have the crazies and the one thing that they could have done to make that party building exercise. same-day registration. the democrats registered 30,000 voters in one day. the republicans did not do it. it's looking now, by the way, that the turnout might be just around the 44,000 that it was in '08 after they've had four years to prepare for this thing. they just threw it together in 2008. so this is a real commentary about the republican party in nevada. i don't want to go so far as to say that you can extrapolate. but they did not use this, as you mentioned, as the
republicans did. >> sue lowden, who should have beat harry reid, they ran a far out person, perhaps a crazy person in terms of gun rights. so far they say we need second amendment rights to deal with congress if we don't like them. is the party that far right? >> chris, the final line is that a primary electorate is a strange beast. sue lowden, bless her heart, was a great candidate on paper, she really was. but reid came at her with all of these third-party ads and then stepped on herself by bartering for health care that she could have gotten rid of. even if she had managed to survive that primary, i'm not sure she could have beaten harry reid after what they did to her.
but isn't s it a far right party? yeah, i think it is. >> your position and perhaps too far right to win the general. thank you, jon ralston, coming out of nevada. sources are telling jon, in terms of msnbc and nbc, are ronning ron reporting is not official and we will not protect any official winner until all the doors are closed of all of the caucuses and all the county has to be done -- or actually all of the events have to be closed before we can say a word about who won. we'll be right back with more from nevada. you're watching msnbc's live coverage of the nevada caucuses.
venetian and talked about where they were going to go. not with newt in the room. he has let it be known, adelson has let it be known he gave the money and he didn't get his people out there working for newt gingrich. >> the other guy is trimming. >> and we know, chris, that the hardest thing for newt gingrich to do is to last through february. he can't raise enough money and we know that there's one debate between now and february 29th
when -- >> the chief hedging his bets, suggesting he would be as happy with romney. meanwhile, newt gingrich needs some cash to get from here to march 1st. >> about two weeks ago romney called sheldon and he didn't just take the call, he actually talked to romney on the call and even offered romney a bit of strategy and advice. this speaks to howard's point. this is someone who is republican and wants to see the republican beat obama. and will be happy to get behind romney if he's the ultimate nominee. newt cannot get the super tuesday if he does not raise more money here. he needs adelson and the
candidate is going to help him. there's not going to be any free debates, right? >> no debates. howard? >> how does newt gingrich try to get attention? how does he get free media during this time? he's going to go to the conservative political action committee meeting near washington in the next week. he and all the other candidates will be there. newt will try to create news in some way. he's down to that's the problem. that's a problem for him. this has always been the problem for mitt. he can only subsist on free media. the danger for him is the way that he gets free media if he tries to create it.
>> jonathan, will he have to pick fights now, serious yard behavior to get mitt romney into a fight as soon as he can in the next several days? >> they are focusing more on obama than they do romney. >> but doing some contrast with romney but having a more solutions-oriented message. look, they realize that he's angry during the course of the last week starting in florida and going through this week. they want to get a more upbeat forward-looking solution for newt here for the next few weeks. the challenge, though, chris, if you give five policy speeches if you're newt, that's not going to get the attention as giving five speeches hammering romney. >> you know what is worse? being ignored. thank you all. we'll see you later. once again, nbc news is reporting based on earlier reports, votes reported by the